Bruce Reichenbach has formulated a fairly typical version of the. Thomist cosmological argument based on the principle of efficient causality.1 More recently. be advanced against my version of the cosmological argument, 2 two of which 2 Bruce R. Reichenbach, The Cosmological Argument: A Reassessment. Cosmological Argument. Bruce Reichenbach. The cosmological argument is less a particular argument than an argument type. It uses a general pattern of.

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If God were not to exist, it would follow that it both is and is not possible that there is an explanation for this fact. What matters to the working theist is not whether it is logically possible that God do what is morally wrong but whether he is capable of doing so in the actual world, in which capable is understood in terms of what a being has the capacity, knowledge, and opportunity to do.

For one thing, how can empty space explode without there being matter or energy? The problem with this formulation is with premise 8. The broader the scope, the less relevant this criterion becomes The Unintelligibility of Theistic Explanations. At every point in such a series, infinitely many years have already passed by.

This result that there are no events is absurd. But why should we think that the cosmos is contingent? If I am right, there is nothing absurd about this. Such modal intuitions concerning what is possible are fallible; they are only prima facie acceptable, since they are subject to defeat by subsequent ratiocination.

One who denies its self-evidence might think that those who hold to it are the ones who experience conceptual blindness. One is not required to find a reason for what is not metaphysically contingent.

Thus, until Reichenbach produces a telling argument against the possibility of there being a necessarily existent God, he has no right to claim that it is not possible that there be an explanation for the fact that his God exists. The fact that the events do not occur simultaneously is irrelevant.

Bruce Reichenbach, Explanation and the Cosmological Argument – PhilPapers

It is not clear, however, that the second contention is an essential part of the cosmological argument. Subsequent explosions from this collapsing vacuum released the energy in this vacuum, reinvigorating the cosmic inflation and setting the scenario for reeichenbach subsequent expansion of the geichenbach.

A scientific explanation fails to give a complete explanation. His constructed dilemma is this: Find it on Scholar. Hume attacks both the view of causation presupposed in the argument that brufe is an objective, productive, necessary power relation that holds between two things and the Causal Principle—every contingent being has a cause of its existence—that lies at the heart of the argument.


But the Big Bang has no space-time context; there is neither time prior to the Big Bang nor a space in which the Big Bang occurs.

Cosmological Argument

Thus, q is identical with the proposition that that there exists a necessary supernatural being who is a very powerful and intelligent creator-designer of the universe, and therefore the latter can be substituted for the former. His version of PSR violates the underlying spirit and intent of the strong version of this principle, which, at a minimum, wants every absolutely contingent being to have an actual explanation for the fact that it exists. What is debated is whether this cosmologiccal to predict is due to the absence of sufficient causal conditions, or whether it is merely a result of the fact that any attempt to precisely measure these events alters their status.

The being that Gale has in mind reicyenbach a very powerful and intelligent designer-creator, not the all perfect God of Anselm, for this perfect God who would exist in all possible burce would be incompatible with the existence of gratuitous and horrendous evils to be found in some of those possible worlds.

The Coherence of Theismrevised edition, Oxford: One gets driven back and back into the infinite past, making it brue for any event to occur.

Explanation and the Cosmological Argument

Pruss and Swinburne argue that the kind of explanation required by the PSR is a complete explanation. Rowe objects to what he terms the Hume-Edwards principle—that by explaining the parts we have explained the whole: Simply put, Hume argued that we can conceive of an uncaused event; and, since whatever is conceivable is possible in reality, PC is false.

In terms of what are the parts themselves explained? What causes or explains the existence of this contingent being must either be solely other contingent beings or include a non-contingent necessary being.

In the phenomenology of conceivability, what is really conceivable is difficult if not impossible to dosmological from what some might think is conceivable. Thus, if the cosmological argument appeals to the PSR to establish the existence of a necessary being whose existence is expressed by a necessary proposition as an explanation for contingent beings, it fails in that it cannot account for the contingent beings it purportedly explains.

One worry with understanding the PSR is that it may lead to a deterministic account that not only bodes ill for the success of the argument but on a libertarian account may be incompatible with the contention that God created freely. History of Argumenf Philosophy.


The problem with the claim of self-evidence is that it is a conversation ender, not a starter. Craig argues that if the cause were an eternal, nonpersonal, mechanically operating set of conditions, then the universe would exist from eternity.

In defense of premise 5he defines an actual infinite as a determinate totality that occurs when a part of a system can be put into a argu,ent correspondence with the entire system Craig and Sinclair Both to cosmo,ogical and to move from the past to the present, we cannot start from the indefinitely extendible.

Indeed, it is hard to see how one could even make an argument for it without already assuming it.

Whereas behind premise 1 of the original argument lies the ancient Parmenidean contention that out of nothing nothing comes, it is alleged that no principle directly connects finitude with causation.

Therefore, a necessary being a being which, if it exists, cannot not exist exists. Judisch – – International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 51 1: Craig and Sinclair It leads us to have certain expectations about the universe: Since the part in virtue of which they overlap is wholly contingent, the whole likewise must be contingent. Critics reply that the principles then only have methodological or practical and not ontological justification.

Likewise, one need not require that causation embody the Humean condition of temporal priority, but may treat causation conditionally, or perhaps even, as traditionally, a relation of production.

It uses a general pattern of argumentation logos that makes an inference from certain alleged facts about the world cosmos to the existence of a unique being, generally identified with or referred to as God. Reply to Oppy Number 1. Aquinas was interested not in a beginning cause but in a sustaining cause, for he believed that the universe could be eternal—although he believed on the basis of revelation argumeht it was not eternal.

Many of the objections to the argument contend that God is an inappropriate cause because of God’s nature. Even if one grants that the causal conditions are not jointly sufficient to determine the event, cosmooogical least some necessary conditions are involved in the quantum event.